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Joan was born in Domremy, a small village on the frontier of the duchy of Lorraine. The district was ruled directly by the royal administration and remained loyal to Charles VII despite its being within a predominantly Anglo- Burgundian area.The towns of Vaucouleurs, Greux, Neufchateau, and Maxey lie near Domremy, as does the river Meuse. Though the inhabitants of Domremy occasionally experienced nearby skirmishes, for their life was easier than it was most in France at the time. Domremy showed no signs of social breakdown, unlike most areas of France. However, the town was partially burned by a band of Anglo- Burgundians who drove off the village's cattle in 1425. This is the same year Joan's visions began.
In December, 1428, Joan left her village for the town of Vaucouleurs with a relative. Vaucouleurs administered much of the near-by village of Domremy and had remained loyal to the dauphin. Durand Laxart, the relative Joan left with, was a cousin of Joan's though she called him uncle since he was fifteen years older than her. It appears that she did not have too much difficulty persuading him to take her to see Robert de Baudricourt, though her parents did not approve of her going. Sire de Baudricourt had been captain of Vaucouleurs since 1420. He, along with a few of his men, were the first to give Joan support for her mission to see the dauphin. It was also in Vaucouleurs that Joan first put on men's dress.